​It has been an incredibly exciting week at Lowther Hall: Last Friday we launched the new history of the School, Rising Pillars, Open Doors, with 4 launches across the day for students, parents and the broader school community. The book was very well received with the “boxed edition” selling out and many people taking the opportunity to have the history signed by the authors at the Friday night Centenary Garden Party.

On Monday evening this week, I watched the ABC 4 Corners program that presented a troubling account of shameful behaviour at a Melbourne boys’ school. It gave me significant pause for thought during the week, particularly when, in my Year 8 Theology class on Thursday morning, we spoke about values and the way in which they inform our decisions and actions.

​On Tuesday 11 February 2020, Lowther Hall celebrated its 100th birthday! To mark the occasion, every current student and staff member gathered in the Joan M Garde Cultural Centre to enjoy a special ceremony celebrating all those who have contributed to the incredible history of our school.

​It would be easy to be feeling disheartened this week, as we continue to witness growing fear at the spread of the coronavirus around the world and increasing concern for the environment as we move into bushfire recovery around Australia. Our politicians, nationally and internationally do little to instil hope. At Lowther Hall, however, there are so many reasons for optimism and joy.

​Welcome to the start of the new school year! 2020 is a special year for Lowther Hall as we celebrate the school’s centenary – and it is interesting to think that 100 years ago, at the beginning of the 1920 school year, the very first cohort of Lowther Hall students would have gathered for their first assembly, with their Principal, Miss Florence Hutton, with many of the same hopes for the year ahead that our girls might have as they have commenced this week: academic hopes, hopes of happy days with friends and supportive teachers and hopes of involvement in school life that set up meaningful participation in the post-school, adult world. Our girls are part of a tradition that we can all be justly proud of and I am delighted to be commencing this new, centenary, year them.

As we conclude another wonderful year at Lowther Hall and prepare for the celebration of our centenary in 2020, I would like to thank all of our family and community members for their support throughout 2019. Thank you to the staff for their tireless work and to the girls for embracing every opportunity and for making it a joy to be at school each day. I am also delighted to congratulate the Class of 2019 and their dedicated teachers for achieving outstanding VCE results. Many girls have already received offers from tertiary institutions for the course of their choice. Blessings to all for a joyous Christmas and a restful break.

​Our thoughts and prayers this week are with people around the country who have been dealing with the fear and stress associated with the bushfires. Events like this help us to remember to be grateful every day for all that we have and to consider the ways in which we can support communities in times of need.

​A short but action packed week at Lowther Hall this week with the magnificent Raymond House Music Concert, Year 2 Camp, examinations for girls in Years 10 to 12, a concert for Old Grammarians and the usual lessons, rehearsals and meetings! It is incredibly gratifying to watch the girls throw themselves into every experience and to have so many members of the broader Lowther Hall Community – staff, parents and past students, coming together to support the school in a variety of ways.

I am always impressed with the enthusiasm and energy of our girls. In recent days I have seen them throwing themselves into Aladdin rehearsals, signing up for 42nd Street auditions, stepping up to speak in Assembly, studying for examinations, embracing the challenges of camps and engaging with their learning. In order to sustain this energy and pace, rest is very important. I hope that over the coming long weekend, girls and families will take the time to rest and recharge the batteries, ready to return on Wednesday with renewed vigour!

This week saw the last day of classes for our Year 12s, the Class of 2019. We recognised them in formal assemblies, watched them throw their hats of the Mansion balcony and at the end of the week they will be farewelled at their Valedictory Dinner. I was particularly impressed that this year, that the girls decided to celebrate their final day with a range of inflatable jumping castles and slides, rather than by messing up their school! It was delightful to watch them arrive in their costumes and enjoy dancing on the Mansion stairs as we shared breakfast together on Wednesday.